Character Counts

Respecting Our Differences

Our differences are our greatest strengths. Learning about what we have in common gives us a sense of belonging, and embracing and respecting our differences makes us a stronger community. 

respecting our differences
Grade Level: K-5

Character Skills
  • Respect
SEL Skills
  • Self-Awareness
  • Relationship Skills
Academic Skills
  • Effective Problem-Solving

Definitions

Respect 
  • Follow the Golden Rule.
  • Be accepting of differences.
  • Be courteous to others.
  • Deal peacefully with anger, insults, and disagreements.
  • Be considerate of others’ feelings.
Self-Awareness

Identify and understand emotions, values, attitudes, motivations, mindsets, and personal attributes.

Relationship Skills

Interpersonal and social skills to guide appropriate behavior and create positive relationships and meaningful connections . 

Effective Problem-Solving

Employ critical and creative thinking skills to solve problems and make rational, ethical, and effective decisions that produce the best possible result.   

Share This Activity

After exploring the similarities and differences of their classmates, students can discuss how to recognize and respect differences and reflect on how it feels to be excluded. 

Materials/Preparation
  • Number four large sheets of paper 1-4 and hang them in each corner of the room.
  • You’ll need one die with the 5 and 6 covered up.
Instructions
  1. Gather students in the middle of the room and point out the numbered four corners.
  2. Read a set of choices (use suggestions listed below or create your own) and ask students to go to the corner that best represents them.
  3. Once the students move to the corner that represents them, ask each corner to briefly discuss why they selected their answer.
  4. Ask a few students from different corners to share with the large group.
  5. After a brief discussion, roll the dice. The number it lands on is the “unlucky number.” Eliminate the students in that corner by naming their choice. “If you like country music, you are eliminated.”  If you need to move the game more quickly, use the dice to choose the “lucky number” and that corner stays.
  6. Keep playing until only a few participants are left. Play through at least two times.

Question Suggestions:

  • Which music do you like best…rock, rap, country, or classical?
  • Which do you wear most often…tennis shoes, sandals, bare feet, or boots?
  • Which drink do you like the best…soda, juice, milk, or water?
  • Are you most like a…square, triangle, circle, or oval?
  • What type of movie do you like best…action, romance, comedy, or science fiction?
  • Where would you most like to go on vacation…the beach, mountains, an amusement park, or camping?
  • What color do you like best…green, purple, pink, or blue?
Discussion Prompts
  • How did it feel to be with others who are just like you?
  • How does it feel when you are different than everyone else?
  • What can we do to show respect to those who are different than us?
  • How could our differences make us a stronger group?
  • What did it feel like when you were eliminated from the game just because of who you are or what you like?

Student Reflection

  • Describe a time when you felt left out because you were different.
  • How does respecting differences make our school a more welcoming place?
 
Adapted from Team-Building Activities for Every Group.
 

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